Lately my focus in Standard has been how to best utilize the Eldrazi creatures and see what colors work best with the colorless monsters. Blue-based Eldrazi archetypes have been doing well, but there is still a lot of unexplored territory. After the next Standard rotation I fully expect Eldrazi to be more popular than ever, as there won't be as many linear decks, and the raw power of the Eldrazi creatures is so high. Another pull toward these types of decks is the lack of the need for fetchlands. Many archetypes require fetchlands in order to function. This one doesn't!

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This list came to my attention when reviewing the results of Grand Prix Houston. Michael Romero put up a very strong performance with the deck, finishing just outside the top eight. I wasn't sure how much the black cards would add at first, as there aren't a ton of them in the maindeck, but they actually do a ton of work. This is one of those under-the-radar archetypes that is poised to break out at any moment.

Bearer of Silence is excellent here, and it actually was named off of an opposing Infinite Obliteration in one of the games. Having a solid bear plus an edict effect is not to be underestimated. In the games themselves the deck felt very strong, and it is surprising more players haven't tried more black Eldrazi decks.

The manabase is nice, as there are a lot of lands that provide an extra effect. My recommendation is to maybe add a couple more black sources though, as many of the sideboard cards are black. There was a game where Kalitas, Traitor of Ghet was stranded in our hand, and there are a full three copies of that card in the 'board. Still, even when unfortunate circumstances like that came up the deck was able to dig itself out of tight spots. One Reality Smasher or Thought-Knot Seer has the ability to turn the game around all of a sudden. Mardu Green felt like the toughest of the three matchups we played, but even there it seemed like the lategame of the Eldrazi deck was superior.

The deck actually feels well-constructed for game ones though it is important to be able to know how to transform after 'board for different matchups. Losing game one to Mardu Green was frustrating, but then after making the deck more spell dense by taking out Eldrazi Mimics and Reality Smasher it felt like the matchup improved dramatically. The reason for doing that is that those creatures die a bit too easily to opposing removal.

The lands can then be leveraged into becoming additional threats, even though many of the actual creatures in the deck get cut after sideboarding. Eldrazi Mimic does seem like it needs to come out a lot of the time on the draw in order to make room for all the cards you want to bring in.

The games tend to be fairly interactive, with lots of close decisions. This is where knowledge of the other decks in the format can be used to your advantage. For instance, the games against the U/R Prowess deck were really back-and-forth, and it felt like knowing how important taking Treasure Cruise out of the opponents hand is was what won us the first game. Many matchups with this deck involve managing resources and your life total, but the fact is there is a lot of room to maneuver, which is a big draw to the archetype. The deck doesn't blow its opponent out of the water, and even when faced with manascrew we were able to find ways to come out on top. This shows that not only is the deck good, but the format is healthy, and I look forward to see decks similar to this pop up much more than they have been.

Thanks for reading,

Seth Manfield